DRAWN TO CRAFTSMANSHIP: HEAD DESIGNER MITCH BREAN
The Carlsbad Cornerstone portfolio of premium commercial-focused design brands includes our Stone Yard line of luxury furniture and décor. The collection features original, functional pieces that double as sculptural works of art and are thoughtfully crafted to be kept and revered forever. Stunning style is beautifully offset by durable design, and all pieces are versatile enough to be used indoors or out. At the helm of the creativity that brings each product to life is Stone Yard, Inc. founder and head designer of Planters Unlimited, Mitch Brean, who with his team of expert designers, sculptors, and highly skilled artisans, meticulously handcraft and finish each custom piece from conception to creation.
Mitch and company apply this same collective design work ethic to all other brands under the Carlsbad Cornerstone umbrella, including Planters Unlimited and Sign Bracket Store, which, like Stone Yard, are committed to craftsmanship and quality, as well as the customization capabilities that can add a personalized touch to each piece. “It’s a pretty big deal that we actually do our own manufacturing and we always have. That really makes us unique,” says Mitch. “With our experience and manufacturing expertise, we are able to do everything from modifying current designs to doing totally custom collaborations. We can do anything.” One time Mitch got a call from a designer asking if there was any way he could turn one of Stone Yard’s products into a bathroom vanity. “Of course the answer was yes.”
As a painter and artisan himself, Mitch is drawn to shape, color, and texture. He remembers a time when he couldn’t find artwork he liked and could afford, so he did what any true artist would have done: painted his own canvases. While in this case Mitch was his own best resource, he also thoroughly enjoys the fresh perspective that comes from working with fellow designers who share his appreciation for all-things artful. “Collaborating has opened my eyes to different ways to approach design,” he says. “It’s all good.” In fact, he adds, many of our products were born out of a collaboration with a designer.
When a designer reaches out to Carlsbad Cornerstone to launch a new project, the creative collaboration goes down something like this. It can start with just a phone call where the designer shares an idea that’s been on their mind. “I take it from there, do a few drawings, and send them to the designer for feedback,” explains Mitch. “It’ll go back and forth like that for several drawings before we make the idea come to life. I love seeing the end result and hearing the designer’s response to it.”
Mitch’s lifelong love of world travel, modern art, and organic textures finds its way into Carlsbad Cornerstone designs. He has collected inspiration from multiple adventures, including trips to the Seychelles, Tahiti, Costa Rica, Mozambique, and Key West. Mitch and team draw from these travel influences, each resulting in a design that vividly evokes a sense of place. (Stone Yard’s Zamora Fire Bowl echoes the distinct silhouette of a West-African drum, and its Boulder Fire Table was inspired by the large rock formations found in Southern California desert land). “Traveling has opened my eyes to the beauty that each country and culture have contributed to the design world,” says Mitch. “This has been such an inspiration.”
While each Carlsbad Cornerstone brand in addition to Stone Yard offers its own unique product assortment, the one thing they all have in common is a foundation rooted in good design. Because when the design is good, the quality is right there with it. “Everything is better with a dose of good design. If I’m out looking for a pressure cooker, I’ll choose design first, then function,” declares Mitch. “To me, good design means good 30 years from now, not just until the next trend comes along.”